Golden Tips Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

I have to say this first: my colleague liked this best, out of the four teas we tasted today. This one was my least favorite.

Dried, not-yet-brew tea leaves smelled smoky to both of us. I also smelled
charcoaled dark wood.

I found this tasting astringent, no sweetness, golden, a little bit smoky, a tiny little bit malty.

Brewed tea leaves looked to be broken leaves to me.

I don’t like the astringency in this one.

Flavors: Astringent, Dark Bittersweet, Hot hay

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 145 ML
boychik

5 min is a lot. With FF I usually try 2.5-3 min. Otherwise it’s too astrigent.

Louise Li

Oh yes, I usually use a gaiwan for darjeeling teas in gung fu style.
But we were having a mini tasting session using tea tasting cups. Some books I had read said steep time should be 5min for tasting. Or, did I remember that wrong?

boychik

I dont know. so many times books or companies list parameters which dont work ;(

Louise Li

I shall research some more :)

K S

My recollection is professional tasting is not intended to bring out the best flavor. It is to expose the weakness. The water is usually too hot and the time too long. You might try a shorter steep before you write this one off.

Louise Li

Ah… that makes sense. Thanks :)
I plan to bring them home and use my gaiwan on them eventually.
Actually they are all 10g samples.

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It’s sweet, light, a little green. I tasted green beans, seaweed.
My colleague smelled blueberry, and I smelled very floral notes and soy beans in the dry tea leaves.

My colleague LOVED this tea. I like it alright, I certainly can have this again.

Flavors: Green Beans, Seaweed, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 145 ML

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80

This is a very nice, authentic masala chai.

Since I was at the shop, I didn’t have a stove. I tried to make it as close to the real thing as possible by steeping it in the hottest water I could get, and then added steamed milk and some sugar.

It was good, but not as good as the Tulsi Basil version. My colleague liked the robust CTC Assam tea base in this masala chai.

Brew note: 2g masala chai tea leaves steeping in 120ml boiling water for 5min. Added 120ml steamed warm milk and 1 teaspoon of white sugar.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Pepper

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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90

This one was plenty strong but not overly harsh. Malty, though not as much as some when hot. Maltiness seemed to intensify as the cup cooled. Medium sweetness and some fruity notes in the background. Not a replacement for the Assam Enigma, which is still sadly out of stock, but this was an excellent sample included in my last order. This is the kind of Assam I wish for when I order Assam at an afternoon tea but never do get. The kind of Assam I’d have at my afternoon tea shop. :)

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I was ordering their Sample of All Teas, and asked for a sample of their Earl Grey Black Tea. Instead of sending the 3 grams I asked for, they sent me a whole package of 100 grams of tea. Incredibly generous of them.

I am very grateful.

However, the tea was not as good as their customer service. I wish it was.

Although Golden Tips Tea Co. said they used natural bergamot oil in their EG, the bergamot flavor smelled and tasted a bit artificial and overpowering, not exactly pleasant nor elegant. The Darjeeling tea base tasted astringent but not very flavorful.

Conclusion: I have had better Earl Grey tea with Darjeeling base than this one.

Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Bergamot

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

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I decided to steep this in the gaiwan today, because… why not? So, 4g of leaf in a 4oz gaiwan, boiling-ish water, several steeps in the 20-40sec range. It’s tasty! Very malty and a bit fruity. I’m not sure if it’s appreciably different than it was steeped western-style, but I’m also not really paying enough attention to notice subtleties. It’s a nice, consistent, versatile blend though.

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This is a tasty Indian black tea, with some nice fresh, crisp notes that I suspect are from the Darjeeling in the blend.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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The website says this is an assam blend, which is interesting, because I would have guessed that there was some darjeeling in there as well. The dry leaf has a really lovely aroma, all floral and woodsy. By contrast, the aroma of the brewed tea is pretty mild. I find this to be a fairly smooth, slightly sweet tea, with malt and floral and grape skin notes – it definitely has that “Indian black tea” character. There is a touch of astringency in the finish, not unpleasant, just a slight drying in the back of the throat. I didn’t feel particularly inclined to add milk to this, which I found a bit surprising for a breakfast blend. Nice to drink, but not overly interesting.

Edited to say: I tried it cold-brewed overnight, and that brought out some surprising fruity notes! It was fairly light, not very malty. Are we sure this is an Assam blend?? :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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60

Today’s Assam of choice from my remaining Golden Tips samples. This one is a second flush assam, picked on 27th June 2014. It’s a single-estate variety, from Mankota. Looking at the dry leaf, I’d say it’s about two thirds black-brown leaves, reasonably thin and twisty, and a third golden leaves. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

To taste, this is a fairly ordinary assam. It’s malty, for sure, but not as malty as some I’ve tried. It’s delicately sweet, with a grain-like flavour lurking in the background. There’s just the slightest hint of molasses, but it’s not strong or particularly defining. It’s a very smooth cup, for the most part, although a little tannic towards the end of the sip.

This makes for a solid, everyday kind of assam. It’s not particularly unique, I don’t think, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s tasty, if a little forgettable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

My sweetie is out of town this weekend and I am tempted to just stay at home and drink tea! I haven’t done that for a while. I definitely plan to have a few sessions with some of my yixings.

I love a good assam in the morning. This came from Marzipan tea lover and is really hitting the spot on this foggy morning. It has a nice, malty heft without being muddy or flat. I am picking up a slight fruit or wine type of note. I definitely would recommend drinking this with milk. Mine was good with Silk Soymilk! I found I didn’t need to add sugar to this. Would consider having this around as sort of a standard every day assam. But I do like my old stand-by, which is the Organic assam from Harney & Sons.

thanks again Marzipan!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Good morning fellow tea lovers! This was my prime choice to wake me up during breakfast. I will always have a special spot in my heart for Darjeelings. I brewed this up in my tutsubin western style. This was really nice. It would make for a good everyday black. The dry leaf carries a slightly woody and dark grape scent. I prefer first flush and monsoon flush Darjeelings, but this one was still pretty good. My brewing vessel yielded a tarnished bronze colored liquor. The initial flavor was very woody. The brew has a darkwood mahogany taste. The flavor broadens to a light currant and oak flavor. This was a delicious morning brew, and it paired well with a hearty breakfast.

Flavors: Black Currant, Dark Wood, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

Much stronger cup of assam than my last, full of malty yumminess. Helping me get through one of my last finals I’m studying for. Good for a pick me up.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

This is a pretty weak assam. Smooth, but not very much kick to it. A person who is better at enjoying subtleties might do better with it, but I don’t much care for it. The flavor that is there is pleasant though. Maybe good for some R&R.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I am several different levels of tired today, but that is alright, because it is a crazy beautiful day. I woke up freezing cold under a pile of blankets, and was so surprised to check the mail and find it to be REALLY WARM, like almost 90 degrees, so I tossed the windows open and no longer have a cold bedroom, yay for insulation. It is also very humid (if you follow me on instagram you can see my epic 80s hair) and there is a high probability of storms this evening, which makes me immensely happy.

Today’s tea comes from Golden Tips Tea, and it is their Rose Herb Green Tea, a blend with a fascinating list of ingredients. And by list I mean 25 different medicinal herbs from the Himachal Valley, along with a blending of green tea from Kangra Valley and Assam. From those 25 herbs, identified is Tulsi, Mint, and Rose Petals, sadly not sure what else is in this blend, which is tragic since I do like knowing what goes into these concoctions. On the other hand it provides a fun guessing game for my tongue, assuming I have ever had any of them before. So, how does this mysterious medicinal tea smell you might be asking, like a soothing, floral, spice cabinet. I can pick up notes of roses, grass, licorice, bay, tulsi, mysterious sharp spices, pepper, anise, fennel, so many layers and herbs! It is a plethora of plant and spice notes that manage to not be a cacophony or smell like a nasty medicinal brew, which is always a good sign.

Giving the tea a steeping was rather exciting, I just hovered around the cup until it was done, because it was quite the mix of aroma notes floating out of it, and of course giving the soggy pile of plant matter a smell gave a sweet blend of roses, pepper, grass, fennel, bay…really it smells like my spice cabinet, but with more dried rose and grassy tea than I usually store there (I store those elsewhere, actually) it is quite pleasant, assuming you are in to the smell of a spice cabinet. The liquid is grassy and sweet, like hay and tulsi, with just a hint of pepper, and only a touch of rose, which I found surprising.

The taste of this tea can be summed up in three easy words: mild, herbaceous, and unique. Ok, job done…I kid, I kid. But really this tea is surprisingly mild, in both the taste and especially the rose factor, usually rosy teas are really rose heavy, this was like a breeze carrying in the aroma of the neighbor two houses’ down roses. There are notes of grass, tulsi, pepper, and hay at the middle, with a touch of briskness which add a bit of dimension to the tea. Lastly there is tingly sweet fennel and anise, both of which linger. I certainly liked all the notes in this tea, though I did find it fell a bit flat, too much going on and none of them strong enough to leave an impression, so this could be a good tea to sip when I want something weird but not overpowering, which I do on occasion.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/04/golden-tips-tea-rose-herb-green-tea-tea.html

Lion

Sadly, I think the storms are gonna miss. I saw lightning and was hoping for them too. :

Lion

It hates me trying to make the type of sad face I’m trying to make and won’t show the little carrot part of it. Lol. This one will suffice I guess. :(

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

steepster really kinda hates emoticons me thinks! Storms are missing me again today, bleh!! They went way south of us, though accuweather assures me rain will start in 49 minutes. Thanks accuweather!

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68

Astringent and mildly bitter. Smelled like a nice strong cup of tea. Could go well for a cup of afternoon tea if you like to add sugar and the such. Still enjoyable, but would not buy.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grapes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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74

This assam was not one of my “leafy” tasting experiences, but it was nothing particularly bold or exciting either. It tastes smooth, with some astringency afterwards. The flavor was pretty standard, a little sweet. Not bad.

Flavors: Astringent, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Sweet darjeeling, be careful not to over-steep. Drank this a long time ago, but forgot to record my review. Still had a little left, I didn’t really believe everyone’s “grape” profile of it. But that’s actually pretty spot on for the sweet taste! Be gentle with this delicate darjeeling, it will yield you a refreshing cup of tea.

Flavors: Grapes, Grass, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Grass, Green, Hay, Sweet, warm grass, Toasty

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec 4 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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I’m certainly no Chai expert. In fact due to low quality bagged stuff, I have avoided it. Now that I mainly sip unflavored high quality loose leaf it just hasn’t been in my radar to drink. Until now.

I recently received a few chai samples for review. This was one of them. It is a combination of CTC and orthodox Assam. The dry scent is spicy but not too spicy. I steeped it western mug style with water. The brew is a very pretty deep orange that looks kind of burgundy under light. The flavor is a combination of clove and cardamom with cinnamon and ginger holding back a little. The ginger and pepper combine to bring a nice spicy heat to the finish. The base is smooth and slightly malty.

I next added some Splenda because I believe Chai is traditionally supposed to be sweet. This really made the flavors pop. They are more present and equal now.

Then I added milk. This doesn’t exactly muddy the flavors but they do sort of meld together. They are all there but difficult for me to separate. To me muddy implies I can’t tell what notes are present. I can here, yet they are tied to each other.

After some debate of pros and cons, I finally decided I like this best with milk and sweetener. The milk cools the spicy heat and the melding makes this so comforting. I could drink a gallon.

Turns out I kind of do like Chai, when its done right.

Mike

It’s funny you should say that, because I really, really have to be in the mood for chai to drink it, and I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a chai fan. Maybe I just need to find the right chai tea and figure out the proper preparation. :)

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82

It’s not even light out. I love the mornings on the weekends where I manage to get my aging carcass out of bed before the early birds start their peepings, especially in winter. I sit in front of an opened window by my desk and watch the day begin with a steamy cup of black tea…this morning it was chosen by name alone: Golden Tips Tea’s Doomurdullung Assam. I can’t resist anything that starts with the word Doom. :)

Dry, this leaf smells malty and sweet with the scent of dried apricots. Apricot? Yep, apricot. The wet leaf loses the fruit smell, and there the strength of the malt makes itself apparent. It is a round mouthfeel you get from this assam, with enough astringency to dry the roof of your mouth a bit when between sips. The malt here is a smoothness that sits in the middle of this tea’s simple flavor profile. There is no “doom” here….only a straightforward cup of assam to start my chilly winter’s day. I guess I’ll have to get my doom elsewhere today….

Flavors: Apricot, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72

This was pretty good – a very mild earl grey. I prepared it with almond milk, as I still found the bergamot to be too soapy to drink plain, but felt like the darjeeling base for earl grey isn’t the best.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Louise Li

I agree with everything you said.

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74

I’m not a big fan of this one,
I loved the in your face boldness of this one as it was quite strong to me(at first)with a good bit of astringency which I also enjoyed, no bitter tho, malty, slightly fruity at times with some bready notes and some woody notes even other than that nothing very special to make note of.
Not bad but not my cup of tea.
The second and third steeps didn’t keep the in your face boldness.
Would probably be pretty good steeped one good time strong with some milk and sugar or as a base to a chai maybe.
Not bad.
Yes I posted this one twice cuz it is in here twice :)

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77

This is the most intense earl grey I have ever had bar none. Total soap without milk. I put in a lot of milk, until it tasted like a normal Earl Grey. Then it was pretty good. I might try brewing this with half the leaf next time to see if it tastes too weak or just right.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
sherapop

I always drink Earl Grey with cream. Looking forward to trying this one! ;-)

Leah Naomi

It certainly can stand up to pretty much any amount, if you brew with normal leaf and time. I normally add a dash of milk…this was probably a full third of a cup. But I am pretty sensitive to bergamot. I like earl grey, but only after I neutralize the soapiness :)

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80

This is really really good – very fresh and fruity and sweet. I wish I had tried resteeping this. I like that this tastes good hot and cold.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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